Sandcastle at Pismo Beach

Occasional observations from afternoon and evening beach walks along Pismo State Beach,

between Oceano Beach, Grover Beach and Pismo Beach,

along with a few detours to our favorite local establishments.

Click HereA BEACH WALK BLOG #1 - 2009
Click HereA BEACH WALK BLOG #3 - 2011
Click HereA BEACH WALK BLOG #4 - 2012


Sunday, December 26, 2010 - Dinner at Sea Venture

We had a lovely sunset dinner tonight with our out-of-town guests at the Sea Venture Restaurant.  It is located on Pismo Beach, on the third floor of the Sea Venture Hotel.  Though dinner does not officially start until 5PM, we got there earlier in order to watch the beautiful sunset and enjoy some appetizers.  The staff was friendly and attentive.  Our dinner courses included local abalone and their signature seafood dish, appropriately called The Sea Venture.  Both were delicious.

Pismo Beach Clam dressed up as one of Santa's ReindeerSaturday, December 25, 2010 - Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Pismo Beach.  The Pismo Clams are all decked out in their holiday garb.  This year they they are dressed like Rudolf, the red nosed reindeer.

Saturday,  December 18, 2010 - Lots of Rain

LOTS of rain.  Some streets are flooded and campgrounds closed.  There is one intersection in Oceano that floods every time it rains.  It seems to make the national television news whenever they need some footage of rain in California.  The local  television stations just head out there and are almost guaranteed to get a shot of a flooded street.  The problem is that Caltrans, the county and Union Pacific Railroad can't agree who should be responsible for fixing it, so year after year it floods.  Anyway, it is nice to be seeing all this on television while we are sitting in Las Vegas with our new grandchild rather than experiencing it directly.

Parker Lane AndersonTuesday, December 14, 2010 - Became a Grandpa! - Off to visit the baby.

We are off to visit the beautiful baby boy who was born on Saturday.  Will be staying with the grandchild for a few weeks, so will not be doing much beach walking.

Saturday, December 11, 2010 - Santa comes to town on a beautiful summer day.

Santa rides a fire truck in Grover BeachIt was another warm sunny day, with temperatures in the 80's. It was a perfect summer day - in December (and we are North of the Equator!).   As we walked along the beach this evening we would feel alternating gusts of cool sea air and warm air from the land.  After getting home we heard the wail of numerous sirens coming down the street and could see the lights from emergency vehicles headed our way.   It sounded like there must be a major disaster, but instead it was Santa Claus coming to Grover Beach!  Each year Santa rides a fire truck through the streets of Grover, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.  A police car and another fire truck also join in the parade, with lights blazing and sirens blaring.  It is a fun way to welcome the Holiday season.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 - Beach Walk Reception before the beach walk

It was another warm day and cool night.  Around here we often have warm sunny days in winter, and cool foggy days in summer.  Too bad most of the tourists come in summer (though if they are from the Central Valley they probably enjoy the cool, foggy, summer days).  This evening we attended the "Holidays and Art:" event on the recently renovated Beach Walk, between the Amtrak station and 4th Street on Grand Ave.  Shell Beach Floral featured music, refreshments and hosted an artists reception.  It was a pleasant way to start our evening walk on the beach.

Snow in Grover Beach?Saturday, December 4, 2010  - Snow in Grover Beach?

Today was the Grover Beach Holiday Parade.  It is a fun, local parade, featuring with local schools, businesses and organizations.  The City Manager rode his horse.  Miner's Hardware brought out their "precision lawnmower and hand truck team".  The local school bands played holiday music, and the elementary schools without bands paraded in holiday costumes. The parade seemed to pick up participants as it worked its way down Grand Avenue.  Following the parade a holiday fair was held at Ramona Gardens Park, with music by local bands and goods by local artists and crafters.  A truck load of snow was brought in, so youngsters could slide down the "hill".  This is about the only time the locals get to experience that strange, cold, wet, white stuff.

Gulls at Sunset on Oceano BeachSanderlings at Sunset at Oceano BeachWednesday, December 1, 2010 - Lots of Birds

It was another beautiful sunset. Hundreds of Sanderlings and Gulls stood along the shore looking for dinner.  It is always fun to watch the Sanderlings scurry along as a flock.  However they were not cooperating when I tried to take a picture.  They would either scurry away or take flight.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010  - Dinner at McLintocks Saloon in the Village of Arroyo Grande.

It was a beautiful sunset, followed by a delicious dinner at F.McLintocks Saloon in the Village of Arroyo Grande.   McLintocks has the same delicious barbecued steaks and ribs as the more widely know McLintocks Dining House in Shell Beach, however it is much smaller, providing a quieter, more relaxed dining atmosphere. Also the prices seem to be a bit less.  Being hidden in the Village of Arroyo Grande on Bridge Street, it is inhabited mostly by locals rather than tourists.

Thanksgiving day 2010, on the boardwalk between Grover Beach and Pismo BeachHappy Thanksgiving from Pismo BeachThursday, November 25, 2010  - Happy Thanksgiving

It was a clear, sunny day.  Temperatures were in the fifties.  Hundreds of families were waddling along the beach and the boardwalk in order to try to to work off some of that delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 - Cider Run

Thanksgiving is coming, so we did a run to the apple orchards in nearby See Canyon to pick up some fresh apple cider for the upcoming feast.  They make delicious, unfiltered, unpasteurized, fresh apple cider.  I think it is even more delicious if it is left open for a few days and starts to ferment, creating a light, sparkling, effervescence.

Monday, November 22, 2010 - The Lost Phone

We had a night walk, accompanied by some teenage friends.  Unfortunately one of them lost their cell phone while playing on the beach.  It was dark, making it hard to find the missing phone. We got out flashlights and soon everyone scurrying around looking for the phone.  We tried calling it in hopes we could see it.  Unfortunately it was on silent mode so we would not be able to hear it.  Finally we got organized, formed a straight line, and proceeded down the beach searching for the phone.  On the third sweep we found the missing phone, somewhat sandy, but still in good condition.  The battery had jarred loose, which is why the phone would not ring. At first we thought it appropriate to call our friends and celebrate, as in the parable of the Lost Coin in the Bible (Luke 15: 8-10), but then decided it was probably better first go home, clean it up, make sure there was no damage, and have some hot chocolate to warm up.

A photographer shoots a beautiful Grover Beach sunsetLate afternoon sun in Grover Beach, CaliforniaSunday, November 21, 2010 - Sunny Days and Stormy Nights

The last two days have been bright and sunny, however major storms, have blown through at night with strong winds, heavy rains, lightning and thunder. The ever changing weather has produced some dramatic sunsets (probably some dramatic sunrises also, but I don't get up that early).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - Photographer in the fog at night.

A thick, low, fog rolled in again this evening. The moon shown through overhead.  We passed several people walking or running in the dark and fog.  Near the Pismo Pier we came across Holly, a photographer from Sacramento, who was doing some amazing shots of the waves and lights though the fog at night.

Tuesday, November, 16, 2010 - Lots of weather in a day - But little change in the seasons.

Along the coast there is a constant interplay between the cool ocean air, and the warm inland air.  This keeps temperatures moderate all year around.  Throughout the year it rarely gets above the eighties, or below the fifties during the day, regardless of the season.  Yet within a day or within a few miles, the weather can easily swing from the eighties to the fifties.  It was a warm morning, with temperatures in the seventies.   In the early afternoon a thick ocean fog rolled in, and temperatures plummeted to the mid fifties.  About nine at night, the fog suddenly lifted, revealing a clear, starry night.   Sometimes temperatures can change by 20 degrees or within just a mile or two.  There are days when it is been in the eighties in downtown Arroyo Grande, but in the Fifties at the beach about 3 miles away.  In summer, when the fogs roll in, it is often cooler than in winter, when there are bright, sunny, skies.  The sharp variations in local weather is why we always keep an extra coat in the car when we go places around here, and why the State Parks suggest you dress in layers.

Monday, November 15, 2010 - Frisbee in the Dark

It was an late evening beach walk, well after the sun had gone down.  A large group was playing Frisbee with a lighted Frisbee in the moonlight.

Sunday, November 14, 2010 - A Beautiful Sunday Afternoon

It was a lovely, sunny, Sunday afternoon.   Four young surfers ran onto the beach with boards in hand, ready to catch some waves.  Parents were dipping their tiny, young, child into the surf for the first time.  The tyke was laughing with delight at the water and waves.   Men and women were riding their horses along the beach.  All seemed to be having a lovely afternoon at the beach.

2 Buzzards and a gull feasting on a dead sealWednesday, November 10, 2010 - Buzzards and The Green Flash

The legions of bird watchers are gone.  The seal carcass remains.  Apparently the Ivory Gull is also gone.  Instead there were two buzzards and a sea gull eating what is left of a very dead seal. Just as the sun went down we saw the Green Flash.  The Green Flash is a rare atmospheric phenomena that occurs a moment after the sun dips below the horizon.

Birders watching for the rare Ivory Gull at Grover Beach, California

Sunday, November 7, 2010 - The Ivory Gull

A rare Ivory Gull was sited at Grover Beach.  Bird watchers from all over California descended upon the beach with their high power optics and cameras to catch a glimpse of the extraordinary bird, which is normally only found in the Arctic.  According to one birder, it is only the second sighting of the bird in California.   The rare was bird seen feasting on the carcass of a dead seal.  Apparently even Ivory Gulls vacation on the Central Coast, enjoying our wonderful scenery, beautiful climate and delicious food.  The bird watchers had to put up with the usual crowd of dog walkers, beach parties, beach walkers and surfers, but most reported seeing the elusive bird.

Lagoon at Pismo Beach

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - Children playing in the Lagoon

It was a lovely warm afternoon (the weather is generally nicer on the Central Coast in the "off season" than the "tourist season" - but don't tell the tourists that, they might want to come all year around!).  Children from the nearby campgrounds were playing in a long, shallow, beach lagoon created by recent rains and high tides.

Monday, November 1, 2010 - A Shooting Star

It was a warm day, and a clear warm night.  A shooting star streaked across the sky.

A Halloween Sunset in Pismo BeachTuesday, October 26, 2010, - A Halloween Sunset

Even though it was not quite Halloween, we observed a beautiful Halloween sunset from the North Pismo State Beach campground

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 - Butterflies are Back!

The Butterflies are returning to the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove.  There are thousands of them, and more seem to be arriving every day!

Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010 - Bugs Bunny

Everyone comes to vacation in Pismo Beach, even Bugs Bunny!
You should come too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - Lots of dolphins

A school of dolphins were splashing merrily a short distance off shore. There must have been over twenty of the graceful creatures.

Sunday, September 12, 2010 - Kids on the Beach

It is fun to watch kids at the beach.  The very young ones, never having experienced the ocean before, are not sure what to make of it when their parents dip them into the cold water.  Slightly older children like running in and out of the surf, chasing the waves back and forth.  Other kids (and adults who feel like kids) build grand and not so grand castles in the sand.  Towards evening, young couples cuddle up with one another and enjoy the sunset.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - Mystery Ship

It was a strange sunset. There was sun on the beach, but a low, thick gray, fog bank was a short distance off the shore.  Above the fog there orange clouds from the sunset.  As it got dark a large mysterious boat emerged from the fog a few hundred yards off of Grover Beach.   At first we could only see a few bright lights from the boat.  As the fog gradually lifted we could see more lights and more of the outline of the boat.  However by then it had gotten dark and could not make out any details of the boat or see what it was doing. The boat had numerous lights and some unusual equipment on deck.  It did not look like a yacht or a fishing boat.  It was too small to be carrying cargo.  Perhaps it had something to do with the undersea cable that reaches from Grover Beach all the way to Asia.

Some real dolls lounge in the sun at Pismo BeachFriday, September 3, 2010 - Dolls on the Beach

Some real dolls were sunning themselves on the beach, while their young owners went splashing in the waves.

Birds vs. cars at Oceano beachThursday, September 2, 2010 - Gulls and Cars

We took a morning walk on Oceano beach with some friends who were staying at the Birds of a Feather Vacation Beach House.   Driving is allowed on that section of the beach, but that did not seem to bother the gulls.  They just stood there and watched the cars go by.

Saturday, August 28, 2010 - Stone Soup

The Stone Soup Festival in Grover Beach is an annual weekend of wonderful music, food, and fun centered around the Ramona Gardens Park. It was a sunny day, with a mild ocean breeze to keep the everyone comfortably cool.   The event starts with the Dune Run Run, which includes a 5K walk, 5K run and 10K run.  A wide range of musicians perform throughout the weekend.  Complementing the good music are food booths serving variety of cuisine (we liked the Hawaiian), craft booths with a wide range of mostly hand made arts and crafts, as well as representatives from many local organizations. A large child's area kept the kids busy, while the adults danced or relaxed to the music. A fun weekend was had by all.

Friday, August 20, 2010 - Kayaking in Morro Bay

We rented a Kayak from the Kayak Shack at the Morro Bay State Park Marina.  We leisurely paddled across the bay to the sand spit on the other side.  After pulling the boat up on the shore, we spent some time relaxing on the sand and admiring the views and the birds.  We were unable to hike all the way across the sand spit as part of it was been fenced off for a protected bird nesting area.  The return trip to the Kayak Shack was much faster, was we had both the wind and tide behind us.  We then visited a few of the many shops in Morro Bay.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - Dozens of Dolphins

Dozens of dolphins were leaping in the water a short distance off shore.  Beachwalkers up and down the shore stop to watch.

Sunday, August 15, 2010 - Sky and Sea

Just off-shore, in the sky above the ocean, Banner Airways was doing an aerobatic flight in their Super Stearman bi-plane.  I am sure the passenger was having the ride of a lifetime.  For me, it would have been more of a barf-o-matic flight.    Just off-shore, in the water, the otter was swimming through the waves, occasionally diving down to find some food, then coming up and laying on its back in the surf to enjoy its meal. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010 - Dinner and a Show

We had a delicious dinner at Old Juan's Cantina, located on the corner of Highway 1 and Pier Ave. in Oceano. They offer a full bar as well as a wide selection of Mexican dishes for lunch and dinner.  The service was excellent.  Following dinner, we took in the show at the Great American Melodrama in Oceano. Tonight's play was The Tavern, by George M. Cohan, followed by a Vaudeville 
Revue called The Travel TimeThe Tavern is set in a small country tavern on a dark and stormy night.  All sorts of oddball and suspicious characters arrive, ranging from a mysterious vagabond to the Governor, creating a twisted and humorous plot. The production was a fun mix of comedy, mystery and suspense that could keep anyone laughing in their dreams.   The Travel Time  featured series of song and dance numbers, ranging from silly to serious, dealing with the trials and fun of summer vacations.  A throughly enjoyable evening was had by all.

Friday, August 6, 2010 - Dinner Time?

There must have been a school of fish a few hundred yards off shore from Grover Beach.  Hundreds of birds were circling low over the water and diving in to grab dinner.  From below the surface dolphins would leap into the air.   A bit further north an otter was swimming on it back in the surf feasting on clams. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - Hapa Haole's Snack Shack

This evening we had dinner at Hapa Haole's Snack Shack.  Hapa Haole's is a small establishment located near the beach on Highway 1 across from the Butterfly Grove and the Pismo State Beach Camp Ground in Pismo.  We enjoyed their outdoor dining were we watched some boys trying to fish from the tiny creek that flows nearby, and could observe the chef barbecuing up various delights  They also have a small dining room and do take-out. They offer a variety of delicious Hawaiian dishes as well as smoothies and shaved ice. I had the Kalua Pork, which had a rich, smoky, flavor and the "Monkey Ribs" which were nice and spicy.  The food was excellent and the service friendly.  The meat was tender and well seasoned.   We highly recommend the establishment for lunch, dinner, and of course, snacks.

Modern Sand Castle at Grover BeachSunday, August 1, 2010 - A Modern Sand Castle

We saw the Green Flash as the sun set this evening as we approached the beach from the Grover Beach parking lot.  On the beach was a wonderful "modern style" sand castle.

Grover Beach, California,  around sunsetSaturday, July 31, 2010 - An Evening Walk

This evening we started our walk at the Grover Beach parking lot, just as the sun was going down.  It was still dusk when we reached the Pismo Pier.  A number of people were still fishing from the Pier.   Pier fishing is popular, especially with tourists.  A fishing license is not required.  Rods are available for rent and bait may be purchased from the concession stand on the Pier. Below, in the waters next to the Pier,  surfers were waiting to catch one last wave before heading in.  Young couples were enjoying each others embrace as they walked the pier or enjoyed the views.  On our walk back to Grover we were treated with fireworks shows launched by campers on Oceano Beach. 

Cruisers meet at the Girl's Restaurant in Arroyo GrandeFriday, July 30, 2010  - Cruising Grand Avenue

Each year the Arroyo Valley Car Club sponsors a Cruise Night along Grand Avenue and a Car Show in the Village of Arroyo Grande.  The events draw hundreds of wonderful old automobiles and thousands of visitors for the festivities.  We hopped into our 1958 Edsel and cruised on down to The Girl's Restaurant for a classic Cheeseburger, Fries and a Shake. It seems we were not the only ones with that idea.  The parking lot was filled with old cars and the waitresses were dressed in 1950's outfits.  The Girl's Restaurant, located on Grand Ave.,  is a prime viewing area to watch all the cars go by.  Thousands of spectators bring chairs and line Grand Avenue to watch the parade of cars.  After dinner we joined in The Cruise, slowing driving up and down Grand Avenue, waving, taking pictures and admiring the many wonderful vehicles.  Click Here for pictures of a few of the many vehicles we saw.

Pismo Pier from the Kon Tiki InnMonday, July 26, 2010 - Climbing Stairs

For some of additional exercise, we decided to climb some of the sets of stairs that lead up the cliffs from the beach to the streets and hotels in Pismo Beach that are north of the Pier. Climbing up the stairs is a bit of a workout, however there are lovely views of the beach and surf from the top of the cliffs. From the Kon Tiki Inn we could see numerous dolphins swimming offshore. 

Walking cats at Pismo BeachSaturday, July 24, 2010 - Walking the Cats

Lots of people walk their dogs around Pismo Beach.  Today we saw a couple walking their cat and kitten along the Pismo Boardwalk.  Well, they were trying the walk their cats. The cats were not always cooperating. Unlike dogs, cats do not seem to enjoy going on walks.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 - Dolphins

Some dolphins were swimming a short distance off shore.  They were joined by a flock of birds who were also looking for fish for dinner.

Montaña de Oro State Park near Los OsosWednesday, July 21, 2010 - Montaña de Oro

We took an easy and relaxing hike along the Bluff Trail at Montaña de Oro State Park. The hike includes wonderful ocean views of the rugged coast.  We also explored some of the tide pools and looked for pretty stones on the beach. We saw ships and boats sailing off the shore.   The Mountain of Gold refers to the golden wildflowers that burst into bloom in spring.

Boogie boarding at Grover BeachTuesday, July 20, 2010 - Boogie Boarding

The long, slow breaking waves and pleasant weather made it a perfect day to go boogie boarding with friends and family.

Construction continues on the Pismo Beach BoardwalkWednesday, July 14, 2010 - Construction on the Boardwalk.

Pismo Beach is expanding the popular boardwalk a block north.  Pile drivers are pounding in new pier supports for the expanded boardwalk.  Improved beach access and showers are also included as part of the project.  We are looking forward to its completion.

Sunday, July 11, 2010 - A pleasant evening

It was a pleasant evening. We started our walk shortly after sunset.  The lights around the San Luis Obispo Bay twinkled on, one by one.  By the time it was dark the rim of the bay was lite with sparkling lights.  We heard a seal barking in the distance.

Saturday, July 10, 2010 - From a Dog's point of view  - Today's blog is written by Mac the Westie

Mac the WestieOh boy! A walk on the beach!  I can hardly wait!  Oh boy! Let's stop and smell the pole, got to see who has been here since yesterday. Oh Boy! So many wonderful things to smell on the beach. Oh boy! A dead fish! It smells delicious - it must have been dead a few days!  Look at that cute Pug!  Oh boy!  Seaweed!  I will pick it up and shake it to make sure it is dead.  That Yorkie looks friendly, wonder if we can play!  Horses! Grrr! Oh boy more seaweed!  Smells great!  Oh, Oh, that bulldog looks mean.  Woof!  That ought to show him who is boss.  If I could only get off this leash I could chase those seagulls. What a Oh Boy! What is this?  Horse hoofs in the sand!  I wonder where they came from?  Look at the Golden Retriever chase balls into the water.  That looks like fun!  Oh Boy!  A Dead Bird!  I think I will pick it up and carry it around!  What do you mean I have to put it down?  What an adorable Scottie!  Lets sniff!  Oh Boy a garbage can!  I wonder who has been here lately.  I better leave my mark!  A Chihuahua!  I wonder if he is friendly?    And look at those two cute Miniture Poodles! Oh Boy! More Seaweed! Yum Yum! Oh Boy! Look, a German Shepherd puppy!  Let's Play! Let's Play! Oh Boy!  A log to sniff!  There are so many interesting smells in the sand today!  Oh Boy! We are back at the pole.  Better take another sniff!  Oh Boy! We are back at the car!  We can go home!  Oh Boy! 

California Gull and chick in Pismo BeachCalifornia Gull and Chick in Pismo BeachWednesday, July 7, 2010 - The Rookery

Dozens of California Gulls have made their nests on cliffs and the off shore rocks near Dinosaur Point Park and Margo Dodd Park in Pismo Beach. The chicks are fluffy balls of feathers, that are carefully fed and guarded by their parents. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 - The Cool California Coast

While much of the rest of the country seems to be having an unusually warm July,  thus far it has been an unusually cool month on the central coast of California.   The night and morning low clouds or fog usually burn off by mid afternoon,  leaving the day pleasantly cool, with temperatures in the sixties.

Karaoke Night at Birds of a Feather Vacation Beach House in Oceano, CaliforniaMonday, July 5, 2010 - Karaoke Night

Tonight we joined a group of friends for Karaoke Night at the Birds of a Feather Vacation Beach House.  Singing ranged from almost tolerable (my singing) to excellent - with most of it excellent ( it helps to have friends who are professional musicians).  Unlike me, the singers in the picture sounded great.  The kids sang, played foosball and board games.  The adults sang and socialized.  A great time was had by all.

Independence Day Pismo Clam, 2010Sunday, July 4, 2010 - Fireworks

The beaches around Grover Beach and Oceano have some of the best firework displays in all of California (assuming the fog does not roll in).  Looking north, one can watch an impressive half-hour display operated the City of Pismo Beach launched off the end of the Pier.  To the South hundreds of people from all over the state come to launch their fireworks over the ocean.  The displays last for hours and include a wide variety of impressive aerial fireworks.  It makes for quite a celebration.  Get there early however as the beach fills up quickly on the Fourth.

Friday, July 2, 2010 - Band Concert in the Park

It was a lovely, clear day for a band concert.  The Air National Guard Band put on a superb concert of patriotic and other music at the Ramona Gardens Park in Grover Beach.  Some families brought picnic dinners to enjoy while listening to the music.  An enjoyable afternoon was had by all.

Thursday, July 1, 2010 - The Campers Are Coming!

The Fourth of July is probably the busiest week of the year on Oceano Beach.  Thousands of campers bring their RV's, tents, ATV's, Dune Buggies, Sand Bikes and other toys to camp right out on the beach and have some fun and relaxation.  There are no specific camp sites so it can get a bit crowded as each tries to claim a spot on the sand. As we walked along Oceano Beach we saw a steady stream of vehicles driving to the camp area, which starts about a mile south of the Pier Ave. entrance to the beach.  Some came on foot, lugging their camp gear with them.  By Friday the camping area is completely full.

Sunset at Grover BeachWednesday, June 30, 2010 - Another Pretty Sunset

After some morning fog and low clouds, it turned into a lovely summer afternoon.  We enjoyed another magnificant sunset on the beach.

Sunset at Pismo BeachTuesday, June 29, 2010 - A Delicious Walk

Today we walked the trail from The Butterfly Grove to Pismo Beach. It was a delicious walk.   We munched on some wild anise, with its wonderful licorice flavor, that grew alongside the trail.  A bit further on we picked some delicious ripe wild blackberries.  Upon arriving at Pismo Beach we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset, complete with the elusive Green Flash.

Saturday, June 26, 2010 - Sand Castles

Sand Castle on Pismo BeachSand Castle under construction next to the Pismo PierSand Fort on Pismo BeachSand Castle next to Pismo LagoonSand Castle on Pismo BeachA sand turtle
There is something about the soft white sands of Pismo Beach that seems to bring out the inner architect in so many beachgoers.   One just gets the urge to build a sand castle.  Some are wonderful and complicated.  Some are simple.  Here are pictures of a few of the sand castles (plus a sand turtle and sand fish) that we saw on today's beach walk.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - Summer is Here!

After the marine layer finally burned off, it was a glorious, sunny afternoon.  Hundreds of people (and their dogs) were walking along the beach.  A few brave souls even went swimming in the ocean.

Monday, June 21, 2010 - Summer is Here?

Summer is officially here, though it was tough to tell today from the weather.  A thick marine layer formed over the coast (though it was sunny a short distance off shore) and the temperatures dropped into the 60's, making for a rather cool summer day. The weather along the Central Coast is often the opposite of that in the Central Valley.  When the Valley heats up, the coast tends to cool down.  In summer, when it is in the 90's or 100's in Fresno or Bakersfield, it can be in the 60's on the coast.  Those living in the Central Valley like coming to the coast for a few days to cool off.  They just need to remember to bring a coat or sweatshirt (though there are plenty of vendors who do well supplying Central Valley tourists who forget to bring warm clothes).  In winter, when the Central Valley has thick Tule Fog, the Central Coast is usually clear and sunny.

Pismo Beach Car ShowPismo Beach Car ShowFriday, June 18, 2010 - Car Show

The annual Pismo Beach Car Show started today and runs through the weekend.  Pismo Beach and surrounding towns, are filled with hundreds of old cars, including antiques, beautifully restored classics and hot rods.  It is fun watching them drive by.  Many of the best cars are displayed on the pier and nearby parking lots. Vendors from all over the west coast have set up in Pismo, offering a wide array of goodies to buy and eat.  It is a great way to spend a weekend.

Monday, June 14, 2010 - Oil

As we walked along, we noticed many small globs of tar on the beach.  Unlike the current mess that is occurring on the Gulf Coast, these are from naturally occurring offshore oil seeps, which every now and then burp up some oil.  The name Pismo is derived from the Chumash Indian word for tar or asphalt.  The Chumash would gather the tar and use it to seal their baskets and boats. Oil exploration has been going on in the nearby Price Canyon for over 100 years.  The oil on the beach usually breaks down and dissipates within a a few days.

A Volcano at Grover BeachSaturday, June 12, 2010 - A Volcano on the Beach!

We enjoyed a lovely Saturday evening with friends by having a campfire on the beach.  The girls made a "volcano".

Cadillac Angels performs at Ramona Park in Grover BeachSunday, June 6, 2010 -  Concert in the Park

This afternoon we stopped by the Sizzlin' Summer Concert Series and Farmers Market to enjoy some hot music in the warm California sun.  The band, Cadillac Angels, performed a great mix of songs that had the audience dancing.  The Sizzlin' Summer Concert Series Series and Farmers Market is a free event held each Sunday afternoon,  June through September, from 3PM - 6PM at the Ramona Gardens Park in Grover Beach, featuring local bands and local vendors.   It is a wonderful place to relax, listen to music, dance, chat with  friends and neighbors, enjoy some food,  pick up some fresh, local produce or perhaps purchase some local arts or crafts.  We purchased a nice, framed, photograph of the beach as well as some yummy strawberries.

Saturday, June 5, 2010 - Warm Saturday Afternoon

It was a lovely, warm, Saturday afternoon.  Many surfers, swimmers, boogie boarders and skimboarders were cooling off in the ocean.  Raul created another spectacular sandcastle by the Pier, only to have it washed away be the evening tide.  A family relaxing on the beach did not notice that the tide was slowly rising, until they were splashed by a wave that crawled up the beach. The kids went chasing  after shoes and sand toys to make sure they did not get washed out to sea while the adults moved the now wet beach towels to higher ground.  As usual, the line at the Splash Cafe on Pomeroy Ave in Pismo Beach, extended out the door and around the corner.  The Splash Cafe is a favorite for their delicious award winning clam chowder. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010 - Didn't see the seal

It was a warm, dark, moonless night.  A number of couples were taking  romantic strolls on the beach, listening to the quiet lapping of the waves.  As we proceeded along the beach, we heard a strange sound nearby, but could not make out what it was in the dark.  I got out the flashlight and shined it on the large, strange looking, blob on the beach.  It was a seal, just a few feet away from us!  It lumbered towards the waves to escape our light.

Sunday, May 30, 2010 - The Otter is back!

It was a warm, sunny, Memorial Day weekend.   A lot of families came out to enjoy the beach.  Kids were boogie boarding in the surf, though the waves were low.  Much to the enjoyment of those on the beach, the Otter was still in the area, swimming in the surf and digging for clams.  His antics were enjoyed by all.

Thursday, May 27, 2010 - Lively Otter - Dead Sealion

Following a brief afternoon rain shower, we ventured onto the beach.  The sun was sparkling on the water.  A few surfers were trying to catch a wave, but most of the waves seemed rather quiet.  A sea otter was playing in the surf near the shore.  Most of the time he was floating on his back, but every now and dive under the waves and find something to eat.  Further down the beach, a very dead sea lion washed ashore in the surf. 

Friday, May 21, 2010 - Money blowing in the wind

The winds kicked up in the late afternoon while we were on our beach walk.  A piece of currency blew out from someone's pocket and went fluttering down the beach in the wind..  They took off, chasing it down the beach for hundreds of yards, unsuccessfully trying to jump onto the bill in order to grab it.  They were soon joined by a friend, who also had no luck in stopping the cash blowing in the wind.  Eventually the bill landed in Pismo Creek, where the creek crosses the beach.   Luckily its owner managed to retrieve it from the creek before the money got washed out to sea.

A dead hearseWednesday, May 19, 2010 - A Dead Hearse

On our way to the beach this evening we passed a dead hearse parked in front of an automotive repair shop on Grand Avenue in Grover Beach.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - Baby Dolphins and their Moms.

It was a beautiful sunset walk along the cliffs of Shell Beach.  Below, we could see mother dolphins and their young leaping in the water.

Monday, May 17, 2010 - Sun upon the water

We had an unusual mid-May rain storm today.  It cleared by early evening so we took our beach walk.  The sea was unusually quiet, with very low waves.  The sun, breaking through the clouds, shimmered upon the Ocean.

Saturday, May 15, 2010 - Grand Dunes Trail Nature Walk

Flowers along the Grand Dunes Trail, Grover Beach to Oceano, CaliforniaOceano Dunes, California

Grand Dunes Trail, Grover Beach to Oceano, California

This morning we joined a nature walk of the Grand Dunes Trail led by Jerry Stanley.  It was a lovely, cool morning.  Many flowers were in bloom, including Silver Lupin, Sand Verbena, Wild Mustard, Indian Paint Brush, and Indian Paint.  We also saw a variety of birds and some wildlife. The trail runs about a mile through the dunes, from the Grand Ave. entrance station in Grover Beach to the Oceano Campgound.  In that short distance it passes through a variety of micro-climates and ecological niches.  Though we have walked the trail before,  he pointed out many details that we missed without his knowlege and keen eye.   The Central Coast Natural History Association sponsors numerous nature walks throughout the area.

Friday, May 7, 2010 - The Bird Cage

The rangers have erected a fence surrounding a large bird cage to protect the nest of an endangered Snowy Plover on the beach.  The bird seems happy in its large, protected cage. We could not see for sure if the chicks have hatched.   The plovers build their nests on the open beach, where there are shifting sands, maurading birds and animals, not to mention people wandering around.  No wonder the species in endangered.  It is suprising that it has lasted this long.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - Buzzard and Barking Sands

As we walked along the beach we saw a buzzard enjoying something that was very dead.  One can often see the magnificent birds soaring overhead.  Near the Pismo Pier we discovered an area of "barking sands".  Scrapeing ones feet in the sands causes it to make a noise which sounds vaguely like a dog’s bark.   Perhaps the bark is left over from all the dogs that enjoy walking along the beach every day.

Thursday, April 29, 2010 - Ducklings and a Lovely Sunset

It was a windy day, so we walked along the boardwalk rather than on the beach today. We saw a duck and her two ducklings in the small pond next to the Butterfly Grove.  It was a wonderful sunset, with the clouds glowing in bright colors.

Sunday, April 25, 2010  - Young Sea Lion

It was a warm, sunny day, so we decided to do a late morning beach walk.  A young sea lion was resting on the beach, under the careful guard of a ranger who made sure no-one approached too closely.  Further down the beach surfers and wave riders were enjoying the waves.  Some people were riding horses on the beach.  It was a wonderful Sunday morning on the beach.

Friday, April 23, 2010 - Walking a Car

Lots of people walk their dogs on the beach.  Today we saw two boys walking remote control cars down the beach, driving the cars a few feet ahead of them as they walked down the beach..

Woman on the stilts at Pismo Beach.Mike Templeton on stilts jumps rope with seaweed at Pismo BeachSaturday, April 17, 2010 - Tortoises and the Circus

On our way to the beach we passed two ladies walking their tortoises!  Flowers were strapped on the backs of the tortoises.  As might be expected, they were not moving very fast.  On the beach we encountered an exuberant group of performers, including stilt walkers, hoop dancers and baton twirlers.  One of the stilt walkers, Mike Templeton, was even jumping rope with a long piece of seaweed found on the beach.

Thursday, April 15, 2010 - China Buffet

Dinner tonight was at The China Buffet Restaurant located at the corner of Oak Park and Grand Ave. in Grover Beach. They offer both menu items (which can be carried out) as well as a buffet.  The buffet  offers a variety of Chinese, Japanese and American dishes.  The dinner buffet usually includes crab legs, shrimp, tempura and sushi.  We especially like going here when we have a big group as they can comfortably accommodate  us,  everyone gets to pick what they like or avoid what they don't like, and all are fed quickly.   After dinner we had a short, pleasant evening beach walk.

Arroyo Grande Creek in OceanoArroyo Grande Creek flowing through OceanoThursday, April 8, 2010 - Arroyo Grande Creek

It was a pleasant, cool, afternoon as walked along the quiet Arroyo Grande Creek from the beach to the riding stables. It is a beautiful walk, with trees arching over the creek for much of the way, creating an almost jungle-like atmosphere.  Along the way we saw a number of ducks, some rabbits, and lots of mosquitoes.  I recommend using insect repellent when walking along the creek around sunset. 

Surfing and studying at Pismo Beach, CaliforniaWednesday, April 7, 2010 - Spring Break

It is Spring Break for many schools and downtown Pismo is busy with students and families enjoying the warm spring weather.    Some students are more dedicated to their studies than others.

Pismo Clam in front of Pismo Beach Chamber of CommerceSunday, April 4, 2010 - Happy Easter

The Giant Pismo Clams around Pismo Beach have been dressed up in their finest for Easter.  They are Easter Bunny clams, or maybe it is Clam Easter Bunnies.  Either way, it is fun to see the clams change with the season.  This clam is located next to the Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce  and visitors center on Dolliver

Friday, April 2, 2010 - Guitar Jam

The sun was low in the sky.  Three young men played their acoustical guitars on the Grover Beach boardwalk. It was a mellow evening.

Feeding the ducks at the Oceano LagoonPlayground at Oceano BeachFishing at the Oceano LagoonTuesday, March 30, 2010 - The Oceano Lagoon

Today we took a short walk around the lagoon at Oceano Memorial Park.  The lagoon, located at the center of the Oceano Beach neighborhood is a relaxing and peaceful place filled with a variety of ducks and geese.  One family was feeding the ducks.  The young children were having great fun.  Further on children were playing at the Oceano Playground, located across the street from the lagoon.  We stopped by the nearby Oceano Airport to see the airplanes.. The most interesting were the WWII vintage planes operated by Banner Airways.  Some teenagers were fishing in the lagoon.  A lovely afternoon was had by all.

Famlies enjoying Grover BeachCliffs at Pismo BeachSaturday, March 27, 2010 - A Lovely Saturday Afternoon

It was a warm afternoon.  The waves were a sparkling bright green.  Numerous families were enjoying the beach, yet it was not crowded.  Children were playing in the surf.  It was a lovely day at the beach.

Friday, March 26, 2010 - Kites

It was a breezy afternoon. A fisherman was enjoying himself at the Oceano lagoon.  Some ducks paraded down the middle of the Lakeside Ave., stopping traffic.  A number of people were flying kites on the beach, some more succesfully than others. There were airplane kites, dragon kites and kites of all sorts of other shapes and sizes. Kites have sure gotten a lot fancier and prettier than the old diamond shaped paper kites of my childhood.

Penelope the Pig at Grover Beach, CaliforniaTuesday, March 23, 2010 - Penelope the Pig

It was a breezy day and the kite boarders were out in force.  There must have been over 30 of them sailing through the waves. Today we saw Penelope the Pig taking her afternoon walk.  Penelope is a 14 year old Pot-Belly Pig that takes daily walks on Grover Beach.

Kite Board Expo, Grover Beach, CASunday, March 21, 2010 - Kite Board Expo Continues

The Kite Board Expo continued today.  The beach was filled with colorful kites and tents.  Unfortunately the winds were rather weak in the afternoon, making it difficult for exhibitors and contestants to demonstrate the full extent of their capibilities.  

Saturday, March 20, 2010 - Local Vocals at Fin's

A cool ocean fog rolled in this afternoon, slowly edging its way up the hills of Grover Beach and Pismo Beach.  The Local Vocals  however provided plenty of hot music at Fin's Seafood Restaurant and Bar, located on the beach at the end of Grand Ave. in Grover Beach.  Fin's is a great place to have a drink, relax on the open air patio, or enjoy a meal.

Friday, March 19, 2010 - Busy Day at the Beach.

Lots going on at the Beach today.  A Kite Boarding Expo with exhibitors and boarders from around the country was taking place near the Grand Ave. entrance to the beach.  A bit further north there were a number of egrets along the shore.  Horseback riders were riding along the surf. Small children were playing ball or frisbee with their parents.   And there was the usual dog walkers, joggers, etc.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - The Sand Man

As we walked along the warm, sunny beach we spied a sand man.  Someone built a cute little sandman in the style of a traditional snow man.  Since we lack snow around here, they used the materials at hand:  damp beach sand, twigs, sea shells and beach pebbles.

Monday, March 15, 2010 - Pussywillows, Shells and Kyakers

Another beautiful, warm afternoon.  The Pussywillows are in bloom along the Pier Ave next to the the Pismo State Beach Oceano campground.
Many people are walking or jogging along the beach. Lots of shells and small rocks can be found along the beach due to the recent storms and the low tide.  Some young men are kyaking near the shore.

Pismo Creek, Pismo Beach, CaliforniaSunday, March 14, 2010 - The Birds

A beautiful, warm, afternoon.  Hundreds of birds have gathered for dinner where the Pismo Creek flows into the ocean to see what yummy goodies might be washed along.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - Cool Cats

It was another late evening walk on another clear, cool, night.  Ours was the only car in the parking lot.  When we returned from our walk we noticed a cat pearched atop the car. As we got closer it lept down and ran off.  Four more cats then dashed out from under the car.  The car must have been the warmest spot around for those poor, cold kitties. 

Monday, March 8, 2010 - Station Grill

Tonight's dinner was at the Station Grill.  The Station Grill is a family restaurant located on Grand Avenue just across the tracks from the Grover Beach Amtrak train station.  The food simple, tasty, fresh and reasonably priced.  And it is a great place to sit and watch the trains go by while enjoying a meal.  After dinner we walked along the along the boardwalk from the Grand Ave. parking lot towards Pismo Beach.  It was a clear, cool night.  For those of us spoiled by the wonderful climate here, it was actually a rather cold night.  We soon gave up the walk and headed our heated automobile.

Sunday, March 7, 2010 - Kiteboarders

It was a windy afternoon.  Dozens of kite boarders were on the beach between the Grand Ave. entrance and the Pier Ave. entrance.  Some were learning, some were performing amazing stunts, some were leaping high into the air.  They all looked like they were having a LOT of fun.

Thursday, March 4, 2010 - Starry, Starry Night

It was a clear, cool, night.  There was no moon.  The stars shined brightly in the sky.  The waves lapped quietly upon the beach.

Saturday, February 27, 2010 - Tsunami?

The beach was closed for much of the day due to a Tsunami warning from the Chilean earthquake.  Apparently there were some surges, however but we did not notice them, perhaps because we were not close enough to the water, and the waves were already large due to off-shore storms.  By evening the tide and waves were high enough (without any Tsunami) that most of the beach was covered up to the sand dunes, limiting our ability to walk on the beach.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 -  Beach Zones

Sand Dunes near Oceano Beach, CaliforniaPismo Beach has about 20 miles of beautiful, continuous, white sand, which provides a lot of opportunities for everyone to enjoy various beach activities. Both officially and unofficially, the beach has been divided into zones for different activities.   The beach starts below the cliff north of the Pismo Pier.  Below the cliffs are tide pools and small caves that can be explored during low tide.  There are a number of nice motels and hotels with easy beach access between the Cliffs and the Pier.  During summer hundreds of vacationers enjoy relaxing on the this section of the beach.  Near the Pismo Pier are some beach volley ball courts and swings to be enjoyed by all.  Surfers and boogie boarders often gather near the Pismo Pier to catch a few waves.  The shallow bottom and relatively mild waves make the Pismo Pier an excellent place to learn to surf, and nearby surf shops as well as the city recreation department offer surfing lessons.  Surfers do have to be careful about getting too close to the Pier, as there are often fishermen casting their lines from the Pier.  Rods may be rented and bait purchased from the concession stand on the pier, and no fishing license is required.  The area south of the Pismo Pier to Grand Avenue in Grover Beach is a favorite for local walkers.  Each day hundreds of walk along this stretch of the beach, with many walking their dogs.  Both a public and a private campground are located just off the beach, allowing campers easy access to the beach.  Parallel to the beach but a few hundred yards inland is the boardwalk with provides beautiful beach views.   Cars are allowed to drive on the beach from Grand Avenue to the area around Oso Flaco Lake about 6 miles to the south.  Campfires are also allowed in this section of the beach.  It is the only public beach on which cars are allowed, making it a popular vacation destination.  Families will load up the car, find a comfortable spot on the beach, and spend the day.  Cars may enter the beach either at Grand Ave. in Grover Beach, or at Pier Ave. in Oceano.  Just south of Pier Ave. is a small group of homes built next to the beach.  The area, generally known as the Strand neighborhood of Oceano Beach consists primarily of second homes, long term rentals and vacation rentals. It is a popular area for family reunions, get togethers and church retreats.  About a mile or so south of the Pier Ave. entrance to the beach is the on beach camping area.  Many campers bring their Recreational Vehicles as there are minimal public facilities.  You can camp right on the sand at on the beach, however there are no formal camping sites and it can get a bit crowded on busy weekends. South of the camping area is the ATV area. Those with All Terrain Vehicles or Dune Buggies may ride them on the huge sand dunes. At the end of the ATV area is Oso Flaco lake.  From Oso Flaco lake to the end of the beach the area returns to its natural peace and quite.  The beach here is pretty much empty except for the hundreds of birds that live along the shore.  In order to protect some endangered species, the beach is sometimes closed to the public for parts of the year.

Campfire on the beachMonday, February 15, 2010 - Campfires

It was a pleasant, warm day and a cool evening.  Between Grand Ave. and Pier Ave there were a few groups were gathered around campfires. Someone with a guitar was singing into thel evening breeze.

Monday, February 8, 2010 - A Flying Saucer!

The tide was high this evening, so we were forced to walk on the soft sand rather than the hard, damp, sand that we prefer.  As we looked up, over the ocean, we saw in the sky a large saucer outlined in white lights. Glowing red lights were on the top and bottom center of the saucer.  It proceeded silently and slowly across the sky, heading north.  Perhaps it was going to Moffett Field.

Sunday, February 7, 2010  - A delicious Thai dinner

We had friends visit from out-of-town. After enjoying a delicious bottle of wine from the local Edna Valley Vinyard,  we brought them to one of our favorite local restaurants:  Thai Dheva, located at the corner of 5th and Grand in Grover Beach.  It is a great, little, Thai restaurant.  The food is wonderful, the prices are reasonable, and the staff is friendly and accommodating.  A relaxing and tasty dinner was enjoyed by all.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - Unusual Colors

We started our beach walk shortly before sunset.  The Ocean was an unusual yellow-green, almost peridot,  in color.  The sun and clouds were bright orange.  The orange sky reflected on the wet sand creating a fascinating array of colors on the beach

Saturday, January 30, 2010  - Full Moon and Dinner at Cafe Vostro

It was a gorgeous full moon tonight.  The sky was almost clear, with just a few bright, whispy, clouds reflecting the moon's rays.
Dinner tonight was at Cafe Vostro, located about 2 blocks from the beach on Grand Avenue.   Dinner was delicious, the Lemon Cake we had for desert was absolutely wonderful, and the service excellent.   The Cafe is usually open for Breakfast and Lunch, and often for dinner.  

Friday, January 29, 2010 - Dr. Danger at the SLOdown Pub

After this evenings beach walk we visited the SLOdown Pub on Grand Avenue at Brisco Road in Arroyo Grande.  Ellie's Cafe, a wonderful, "casual gourmet:"  restaurant shares the facility.  The Pub is a relaxing, mellow, establishment that features local wines, local beers, local bands, local art, dancing and friendly conversation.  There is live music most evenings, supplemented by an occasional poetry reading or other activities.  Check  their calendar at http://www.slodownpub.com/event_calendar.shtml.    Tonight music was provided by one of our favorites,   Dr. Danger Blues Band.
They preformed their usual, slightly eclectic, mix of blues, soft rock and a few other odds and ends thrown in as well.

Thursday,  January 28, 2010  - Sunny Days Are Back.

The beautiful Pismo Beach weather has finally returned.  It is again sunny and warm.   The normally tiny or non-existent creeks running into the sea have turned into small rivers from the recent storms, which limits where we can walk along the beach without getting our feet wet.

Pismo Beach after a stormSeaweed left by the stormSaturday, January 23, 2010 - The beach after the storms

The storms passing through this week have carved small cliffs into the sand and left the beach littered with seaweed.   The waves and tides have left intricate patterns in the seaweed and and small pieces of debris swept upon the beach.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - A Double Rainbow

About 5PM sudden gale force winds blew in extremely heavy rains.  I was immediately drenched.  Though there were heavy clouds overhead and the rain was pouring down, the sky was clear over the ocean.  The sun, low on the horizon shown brightly through the rain, creating a spectacular double rainbow.  The wind and rain ceased within a few minutes.  As we drove east on Grand Avenue, one of the rainbows appeared to end at The Girl's Restaurant on Grand Ave. in Arroyo Grande. We immediately drove there.  Alas, we did not find a pot of gold, however we did find a delicious dinner and friendly service (along with a dry towel).

Rough Surf next to the Pismo Beach PierTuesday, January 19, 2010 - Rough Surf

There is still a lot of rough surf caused by the storms that are passing through this week.  It is fascinating to watch the large waves tumble ashore.

Monday, January 18, 2010  - Big Storm

A big storm blew through today (OK, so it does rain during the day some to the time).  We had a few hours heavy rain starting in the morning followed by very strong winds.  It knocked power to much of the area, including our house.  The skies cleared, and it became a beautiful sunny afternoon.  Having the choice of staying in a dark house, or enjoying a sunny afternoon on the beach,  we headed down to the beach for a walk and to observe the heavy surf.  Seems a lot of other people had the same idea.  There were lots of people walking up and down the beach, discussing the storm and blackout.  The power was still out at our place when we got back, so we went to Mexico Viejo Restaurant on Grand Ave. in Arroyo Grande for dinner.  The place was busy, and as usual, our dinner was delicious.  And the power was back on when we got back home.

Tuesday, January 11, 2010  - Night Rain

A storm approached this evening as we walked along the shore.  Just after sunset it started to sprinkle, and continued to rain throughout the night.  By morning the skies had cleared, yielding another beautiful day.  For some reason it seems to rain more often at night than during the day around here.  We are not quite like the song in Camelot, where it only rains at night, but the Central Coast is a magical area, and it does rain more often at night, leaving us with beautiful days.

Saturday, January 9, 2010 - The Exploration Station

We attended the opening of The Exploration Station's Children's Interactive Science Center today.  The place was packed with kids trying out a variety of hand's on exhibit, including exhibits on flying airplanes and the human body.  Looks like they were having a LOT of fun.  The Exploration Station is located in the old fire house at 9th and Ramona St. across the street from Ramona Gardens Park in Grover Beach.  It is one block north of Grand Avenue.  There were heavy clouds today. It looked like it would rain, but just before sundown the clouds broke, revealing another gorgeous sunset.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 - Blimp, Bird, and a Beautiful Sunset.

Egret in the surf at sunset near Pismo BeachSunset at Pismo BeachIt was another warm day. Across the bay we could see a blimp circling near Avila Beach. Eventually it flew overhead, and then headed south towards Santa Maria. Though it is common to see a bi-plane, this is the first time I have seen a blimp over the beach. An Egret was fishing for its dinner in the surf. We had a beautiful sunset with bright, florescent reds and oranges.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 - A Beautiful day with lots of surfers

Sand Castle on the Beach near Pismo State Beach CampgroundIt was a wonderful, warm day.  I read about the thick Tule fog in the central valley, and how the much of the nation is experiencing snowstorms, near record cold spells, and I am glad to be here in Grover Beach / Oceano area. Winter is probably the nicest season.  The weather tends to be mild and pleasant with little or no fog, and there are no crowds.  On the beach someone built a magnificent sand castle.  Dozens of surfers were out catching the waves near the Pismo Pier.  This is truly a wonderful place.

Sunday, January 3, 2010 - Dinosaur Caves Park

Beach near Dinosaur Caves Park in Pismo Beach, CaliforniaWe walked from the Dinosaur Caves Park in Pismo Beach, along the bluff, and down to the beach.  There are no dinosaurs or caves at Dinosaur Caves Park, however there once was an amusement park and roadside stand that featured a headless dinosaur (the neighbors objected, so the dinosaur was never completed).  One could enter a cave beneath the bluff by going through the belly of the dinosaur.  Alas, the dinosaur the dinosaur was removed in the 1950's, and the cave collapsed some years later.  Now all that is left is a peaceful park with multi-million dollar views of the cliffs and the ocean.  Included are benches to watch the surf,  restrooms, a small play area and nearby picnic tables. One can observe the jagged rocks of the rugged coastline from the park and bluff and can easily imagine what it would have looked like when dinosaurs did roam the area.   Farmers Markets and Artists sales are held regularly at the park.

Saturday, January 2, 2010 - Guadalupe Dunes

Guadeloupe DunesWe drove a few miles south, to the Guadalupe Dunes to begin our beach walk.  There is a small museum at the dunes which has exhibits about the Dunites and Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 silent film classic "The Ten Commandments".   The Dunites were a group of artists, writers, misfits, and mystics that inhabited the Dunes between Oceano and Guadeloupe from about the 1920's to the 1940's.   Buried somewhere beneath the Dunes is the set used to create Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 epoch movie.  Giant sets were constructed to recreate the glories of ancient Egypt.  When the film was completed the sets were buried in the sand.  Occasionally pieces are found after a storm shifts the dunes.  According to some of the Dunites the “Pillars of Atlantis” are also buried beneath the Dunes, however they have yet to be discovered.

Walking a baby goat on Pismo BeachFriday, January 1, 2010 - Walking a Goat

Many people walk their dogs along the beach.  The people enjoy the beautiful scenery, and the dogs enjoy all the intriguing smells found along a beach.  Today we saw someone walking a baby goat.   Previously we have seen someone walking their pig.   You never know what you will see on the beach.

Questions or Comments?   You may e-mail me at  blog@oceanovacationhomes.com


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